(CNN Student News) -- November 10, 2009
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CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: When a wall comes down, where does it go? You're going to find out in today's edition of CNN Student News! Hi, everyone. I'm Carl Azuz.
AZUZ: First up, a look at some economic ups and downs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average: up! It gained more than 200 points yesterday finishing the day at its highest level since October of 2008. That is a hopeful sign, since the Dow gives an idea of how the whole stock market is doing. Gold: up! The precious metal is at a record high, more than $1,100 per ounce. But part of the reason? The dollar: down! The value of the U.S. currency has dropped this year. That means its trade value has gotten weaker. That's why gold is more appealing. And finally, oil: up! The cost of crude settled at just under $80 per barrel yesterday. Oil prices have been on the rise since last December. And as John Defterios explains, they may keep going in the same direction for a while.
JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: In its own unique way, oil is defying gravity. Even the weight of the global crisis has not kept crude down. The trend has many in the industry declaring that the era of cheap oil may be well behind us.
VAHAN ZANOYAN, CEO, FIRST ENERGY BANK: If it was easier to find it and easier to develop it, prices would not be at $80. I assure you, in a recession, you would maybe have $20 oil. But it is not easier to find it or develop it. That is reflected in the economics.
DEFTERIOS: The economics favor the major gulf states like the UAE, which sits atop 8 percent of the world's proven oil reserves. Not only is it plentiful, but inexpensive to produce, at between $5-10 a barrel.
JONATHAN STERN, OXFORD INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY STUDIES: National oil companies and their governments have taken over the access to all their oil. So, anything that is cheap and easy to produce they will do themselves. They now have the technology and the money to buy the technology. They don't need the IOCs for that.
DEFTERIOS: The IOCs, or international oil companies, are left battling it out for more costly prizes where their expertise and technology remain in demand. Recent discoveries in Kazakhstan, the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Brazil have allayed fears of what many call peak oil, the term used to describe falling global production. The new finds, however, come with a heftier price tag.
STERN: What we are looking at here is really quite expensive oil, oil that you need at least a $40-50 oil price to be confident you will make a decent return on. That is really different.
DEFTERIOS: Beyond oil, which is harder to reach, there is another category: going into countries with high political and security risks. In the Middle East, Iran and Iraq still top the list.
ZANOYAN: The easy ones, always; low-hanging fruit has already been taken, right? So, after 40 years of this process, it is not surprising that what's left is all the tough ones. It is normal.
DEFTERIOS: Over the next two decades, it is estimated the industry will spend $13 trillion to replace depleting supplies, even in the oil-rich Middle East. John Defterios, CNN, Abu Dhabi.
Is this Legit?
TOMEKA JONES, CNN STUDENT NEWS: Is this legit? On this map, the country highlighted in yellow is El Salvador. Legit. The small, Central American nation is bordered by Guatemala, Honduras and the Pacific Ocean.
El Salvador Mudslides
AZUZ: Thousands of people in El Salvador are struggling to recover after heavy rains from a weather system out of the Pacific triggered flooding and mudslides in their country. Officials say at least 130 people were killed and more than 13,000 others were forced into emergency shelters. El Salvador's president declared a national emergency afterward and called the loss "incalculable." Donations for things like food, clothes and medications have been promised. But officials say the supplies that are available aren't enough to keep up with the needs of the victims.
AZUZ: Over in Germany, this was the scene 20 years ago: a celebration on top of the Berlin Wall the night when it came down. It signaled an end to the Cold War between East and West. And this was the scene yesterday, as Germany and the world marked the anniversary of the wall's fall. German Chancellor Angela Merkel passed through the same checkpoint that she did two decades earlier. Merkel is the first former East German to lead the country. Yesterday's ceremonies included tributes to the people who lost their lives trying to escape from behind the barrier. The Berlin Wall stood from 1961 to 1989. Jim Clancy tracks down what happened to it after it fell.
JIM CLANCY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That sound: hammers chipping away at the Berlin Wall. It lasted days and weeks from November 9th. A wall that had seemed all but impenetrable for decades and only days before, suddenly helpless, vulnerable. Twenty years ago, the Berlin Wall surrounded a city, sealed off half a continent, and imprisoned millions. Today, most of it is gone, or is it? In a very real sense, even more than at any time in the past, the Berlin Wall is everywhere. You can find it at presidential libraries in the United States or at the United Nations, entire concrete sections emblazoned with graffiti. It's stored behind a barn in New Jersey. It's on university campuses and urban parks.
BLAKE FITZPATRICK, ARTIST: I have a piece.
CLANCY: Blake Fitzpatrick and Vid Ingelevics have been tracing the wall in North America.
VID INGELEVICS, ARTIST: If you go to the Reagan museum, you go to the Nixon museum, you go to the Bush museum, the Berlin Wall is a fixed history, and it's always the same history that's told at these places.
RONALD REAGAN, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
INGELEVICS: But the small pieces, that's where things change.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: I thought it would be like chipping a piece off of history.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It makes you think of the people on the other side, who are basically locked in.
FITZPATRICK: What we really started to become most interested in was the way in which the people's memories of the wall, of that time, intertwines with their personal lives. And in a sense, history and memory get mixed together in the stories they tell about what the Berlin Wall means to them.
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Unification is something that people should, you know, like cherish. And I have proof, living proof.
FITZPATRICK: It's kind of a very strange and almost magical little totem-like object that triggers memory. And it brings people to some kind of, you know, some kind of understanding of history in their own terms.
CLANCY: Those small totems of memory, imagination and history have spread across the world. Wherever you find them, the fragments represent not the confinement imposed by the wall when it was in place, but freedom and the strength of the human spirit to overcome all obstacles. Jim Clancy, CNN, Berlin.
AZUZ: Our next story, experts estimate that in America, there are nearly 2 million amputees, people who have lost part of an arm or leg. At least 25,000 of them are young people, including Jordan Thomas. He's also a CNN Hero an ordinary person taking extraordinary action to try to improve the world. When Jordan lost his limbs, he found a cause.
CNN ANNOUNCER: This is CNN Heroes.
JORDAN THOMAS, CNN HERO: They say I'm a bilateral transtibial amputee. In layman's terms, I lost both my legs from the mid-calf down. I'm just kind of a normal kid that was thrown into an abnormal situation, just a freak accident when I was 16 years old. My parents and I were going to go scuba diving. There were tons of waves that day, and I jumped into the water. I just got pushed behind the boat, and I looked down and I just saw blood.
I had such great support. That's what helps me just kind of get through it. But, when I saw all the other kids that were in the hospital that didn't have great support, you recognize that something's got to be done.
My name is Jordan Thomas, and I started my foundation there in the hospital. And I provide kids with limbs that they deserve. A lot of insurance companies will put a cap on prosthetics, or they will provide them with one pair of legs for their lifetime.
Oh, check that.
You never would know that you need new legs every year and a half. It's like shoes. You just outgrow them. Noah is six. His first leg, it didn't bend. They asked for a new knee, but he was denied, so we provided him with a bendable knee. Now, he is so proud to show off how his knee bends, it's great. We've committed to these kids until they are 18, and so we have a lot of work ahead of us. A lot. But we're excited about it.
We need to really work on this one.
If we provide them with prosthetics, then that creates a whole gamut of opportunity for them to achieve whatever they want. And I think they deserve that.
AZUZ: Jordan is just one of this year's CNN Heroes; he's representing the "under 25" category. You can read more about all of the top 10 at CNN.com/heroes. And then tune in on Thanksgiving night to find out who is named the 2009 Hero of the Year. The CNN Heroes All-Star Tribute airs at 9 p.m. Eastern on CNN.
Before We Go
AZUZ: Before we go, we have a story that might bug ya. Roach relay! The reason no one's stomping these insects is because they're racing them! This is the 27th Annual Great American Bug Race. Just because it's tradition doesn't make it any less disgusting. Plus, for all we know, the bugs think this is a chance to get away! The event is sponsored by a university science club. Who else? I costs just one dollar to enter, and the winner takes home a hundred bucks.
AZUZ: That's pretty good motivation to exterminate the competition. I'm Carl Azuz, and that's where today's show crawls to an end.